Weatherman, Boliek advance in Republican runoffs

Weatherman, Boliek advance in Republican runoffs

The final two candidates for North Carolina’s Council of State have been chosen by voters after a May 14 runoff election that saw very light turnout — even by runoff standards. 

Longtime GOP politico Hal Weatherman defeated Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill handily, with more than 96,000 votes to O’Neill’s 33,000. Weatherman will go on to face Mecklenburg Democrat Sen. Rachel Hunt.

In the state auditor’s race, UNC trustee Dave Boliek bested fellow Republican Jack Clark by a somewhat tighter margin, just under seven percentage points. Boliek will face current auditor and former Democratic Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes, who was appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper (D-Rocky Mount) after fellow Democrat Beth Wood resigned in 2023.

In another runoff from outside the Smoky Mountain News coverage area, former federal prosecutor Brad Knott defeated Kelly Daughtry in the 13th Congressional District runoff with nearly 20,000 votes to Daughtry’s nearly 2,000. Daughtry suspended her campaign after former President Trump endorsed Knott in April. Daughtry finished first and ahead of Knott in the March 5 Primary Election by nearly nine points. Knott will face Democrat Frank Pierce in November for the seat currently held by Democrat Wiley Nickel, however the district was recently gerrymandered by the North Carolina General Assembly to ensure a Republican win; Democratic performance from 2016 to 2022 in the new 13th District is just over 41%.

Only 133,000 voters out of a possible 4.8 million cast ballots in the runoff election, compared to 1.8 million who voted in the Republican Primary Election. The General Election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5. For more information on how register or to vote, visit

— Cory Vaillancourt, Politics Editor

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